Thursday, January 14, 2021

First of its kind genome sequence lab to be inaugurated at Delhi Airport

New Delhi: The Delhi International Airport will get the first of its kind genome sequencing lab today. It would be inaugurated by Dr. Vinod Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog and chairman, national expert group on vaccine administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC).

The positive samples will be genome sequenced to identify and contain the new mutant variant of COVID-19. The health ministry has established the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) for laboratory and epidemiological surveillance and to expand the whole genome sequencing of the coronavirus in the country, aiding in the understanding of how the virus spreads and evolves.

India has put in place a pro-active and preventive strategy to detect and contain the mutant variant of the virus. It includes temporary suspension of all flights coming from the UK with effect from the midnight of December 23 till December 31 and mandatory testing of all UK returnee air passengers through RT-PCR test.

Ten regional laboratories have been identified by the Centre where states will send five per cent of their COVID-19 positive samples for genome sequencing to detect the new coronavirus variant.

14/01/21 Vikash Aiyappa/One India

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